WASHINGTON – The House ethics panel, or Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (search), received a complaint Tuesday accusing House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (search) of violating both federal laws and House rules.
Texas Democratic Rep. Chris Bell (search), who is bringing the charges, blames DeLay for a redistricting plan that moved Bell into a new district, where he lost a Democratic primary this year.
"A mountain of evidence indicates that Tom DeLay may be guilty of extremely serious criminal acts, including bribery, extortion, fraud, money laundering and the abuse of power," he said.
Bell leveled three charges — DeLay accepted $25,000 from Kansas energy company, Westar (search), in 2002 in exchange for adding a friendly provision to the energy bill; DeLay funneled corporate contributions through the Republican National Committee (search) to help Republicans win seats in the Texas Legislature; and the No. 2 House Republican pressured Federal Aviation Authorities (search) to track a private plane carrying Texas Democrats out of Texas to delay approval of a redistricting plan.
Sour grapes or serious charges? That's the question for the ethics committee. DeLay told Fox News that he hasn't reviewed the charges but he's done nothing wrong.
Go to the video box at the top of this story to watch a report by Fox News' Major Garrett.